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Hawaii Legislature 2017

Coverage of the 2017 Hawaii state legislative session.

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Ige scorns special session for rail

Gov. David Ige rejected the notion Wednesday of extending the 2017 legislative session to try to salvage a rail-funding deal, calling it a “waste of time” if state legislators don’t already have an agreement in place. Read more

Tokuda out due to rail, Souki also to lose post

House Speaker Joe Souki and Senate Ways and Means Chairwoman Jill Tokuda are expected to be ousted from their positions of power today in an end-of-session leadership shakeup. Read more

Dueling votes kill rail funding bill

Honolulu’s financially strapped rail project faces an even more uncertain future now that a controversial 11th-hour funding deal has crumbled in the state Legislature. Read more

Fate of rail funding bill in limbo as lawmakers float new proposals

State House and Senate lawmakers extended their fierce disagreement today over how to bail out the financially strapped Honolulu rail project, with senators proposing to extend the half-percent excise tax surcharge for rail for another decade, and the House rejecting that idea. Read more

Rush is on at the Capitol to decide bills’ fates

State lawmakers scrambled to move dozens of bills ahead of a Thursday night deadline for gaining approval from key House and Senate negotiators on measures that don’t carry a price tag. Read more

Bill empowering Stadium Authority dies

A bill that would have given the Aloha Stadium Authority expanded powers to redevelop the 98-acre parcel containing the current stadium met a prolonged and somewhat surprising death today. Read more

10-year tax idea for rail falters

Key state lawmakers gathered Wednesday to discuss a new plan to extend the Oahu excise tax surcharge for rail by another 10 years, but it isn’t clear whether the idea has the support it would need to win approval in either the Senate or the House. Read more

Birth control bill to face final floor votes

Women would no longer have to make a trip to the doctor to get a prescription for birth control pills or other forms of hormonal contraception under a bill that gained approval from negotiators in the House and Senate on Tuesday. Read more

Having a bong less of a big deal under bill agreed on by leaders

House and Senate negotiators agreed Monday morning on a bill that would decriminalize possession of drug paraphernalia, reducing the penalties for being caught with items such as a marijuana pipe or cigarette papers to no more than $500. Read more

Legislators greenlight $28 billion budget for operations

House and Senate lawmakers reached agreement on a new two-year, $28.4 billion state operating budget Monday that would increase state spending over this year’s level but would trim the overall budget somewhat from what Gov. David Ige originally proposed. Read more

Kids, activists rally for bill setting clean-fuel goal

More than 600 students joined activists at the state Capitol rotunda Thursday in support of a bill that sets a goal of having all ground transportation in Hawaii run on renewable fuel by 2045. Read more

U.S. ConCon resolution advances

Hawaii is close to joining a growing number of states urging Congress to convene a national constitutional convention — an event that, other than the original 1787 convention, has never taken place in U.S. history. Read more

Lawmakers tussle with bill to fight painkiller addiction

With addiction to prescription painkillers on the rise in Hawaii, state lawmakers prioritized legislation this session aimed at cutting down on abuse and making sure that health care providers counsel patients on the risks of opioid medications. Read more

Bill on transparency at tourism agency is killed

Legislative measures to increase accountability and transparency at the Hawaii Tourism Authority are dead this session, but lawmakers have attempted an end run by asking the state auditor to deliver the agency’s 2018 management audit by the start of next session. Read more

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